For manufacturing and quality, aerospace is governed by AS9100 (and/or EN9100) under the auspices of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). AS9100 requires a great focus on establishing and complying with design requirements.
Additionally, AS9102 is a part of the AS9100 quality management system that describes the details for aerospace first article inspection requirements while AS9103 defines the expectations for statistical process control.
DISCUS software helps you quickly complete your AS9102 forms by allowing you to assemble your engineering drawings, CAD models, specs, and related documents. DISCUS then helps you identify
characteristic accountability requirements and manage them at a detailed level. It is compatible with many of the AS9102 tooling used by prime contractors such as Boeing, Honeywell, and GE.
In short, DISCUS allows you to set up, markup, and export your information within your AS9102 forms – allowing you to save hours of time creating a first article inspection. Learn more about howDISCUS can save you time in preparing your AS9102 and FAI documents.
What is AS9102?
In 2004, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) released a standard for First Article Inspection (FAI) requirements entitled AS9102. The IAQG sponsored a team of engineers and developers to create the AS9102 document. This new revision was meant to consolidate multiple FAI requirement forms as well as improve the production process and organization of these forms to negate non-conformance. Later in 2014, the AS9102 was revised (AS9102B or AS9102 Rev B) to further promote the value of a proper FAI process.
There are several advantages to companies adhering to these new SAE aerospace standards. First, AS9102 clearly specifies when a First Article Inspection must be conducted. Second, it describes what components of the production part must be included in the FAI and what inspections/verification must be conducted on those components and their associated processes. Finally, AS9102 specifies how the first article inspection must be documented and provides the forms to do so.
Importance of AS9102 First Article Inspection
The AS9102 documentation requirements consolidate a series of forms to help ensure consistency across the board for aerospace standards and other engineering fields.
The three AS9102 forms are:
- Part Number Accountability
- Product Accountability
- Characteristic Accountability
Part Number Accountability
The part number accountability form designates specific names, serial numbers, and FAI report numbers for parts used in both the design and manufacturing process. Filling out and tracking these forms help companies ensure validity and reliability leading up to the first production run. If something goes wrong in the manufacturing process, the company can look back at the documentation requirements to see exactly which part they need to change.
Next, product accountability includes the citation of raw material specifications, special processes, and functional testing. These measures help guarantee the repeatability of the production of these products.
Finally, characteristic accountability evaluates verification and compatibility. This form lists all the design characteristics of the part, including characteristic requirements and corresponding inspection results. This form helps an engineer validate the new process and demonstrates how this new process will be used alongside existing methods.
Requirements for AS9102
With all the specification requirements listed in the AS9102 revision, and all the different fields that this form covers, it might seem difficult to understand which sections of the form one must complete before submitting it. The team which developed this revision has already thought this process through and they’ve listed three qualifiers to help you understand which is needed.
The first is listed as required, which is represented in forms with the letter ‘R.’ Some of the fields that are required include part number, part name, organization name, full FAI report, signature, and date.
The second is listed as conditionally required, symbolized by the letters ‘CR.’ These fields are mandatory when certain processes are completed or certain tools are used. Some fields that might be considered conditionally required include drawing numbers, additional process changes, design changes, and specific tooling.
The last qualifier noted on the AS9102 is listed as optional, symbolized by the letter ‘O.’ This information is helpful for record-keeping, but is not a requisite for completing the form. Examples of optional information include the name of the person who prepared the First Article Inspection, the name of the person who approved the FAI, the date FAI is reported, and the name of the customer who approved everything.
The DISCUS Advantage
The DISCUS core competency is managing a part’s Technical Data Package at a high level of detail, all while enabling you to save time and resources while focusing on the product realization process. DISCUS Software enables users to view a drawing or model and quickly identify the design requirements, features, and characteristics. This identification can then be used to efficiently create downstream artifacts for the manufacturing process and quality assurance.
This includes but is not limited to:
- First Article Inspection Reports
- In-Process Inspection Plans
- Manufacturing Process Plans
- Producibility Analysis
DISCUS electronically organizes and integrates all elements of the TDP, including product images, engineering drawings, specification requirements, and other related narrative FAI documentation.
DISCUS helps to quickly analyze and interrogate the new product or production part – whether it’s in the form of a 2D drawing or 3D CAD model. DISCUS enables the user to identify (balloon) all of the detail part characteristics and organize the requirements into a systematic Bill of Characteristics.
The result is greatly improved productivity in manufacturing and quality engineering resulting in a successful first production run. For example, DISCUS has consistently increased FAI and SPC productivity by more than 50%.